Special Event

Nine Nasty Words with John McWhorter

Thursday, September 23, 2021 | 6:30 p.m.

$8 | Friedman Family Auditorium

Profanity, whatever your opinions of its use, is a rich field of study for linguists. The words we find offensive, shocking, or just mildly crude change over time and space, and reflect the priorities of our society. But the power of curse words isn’t just social – it’s physical. When you drop a nasty word into your conversation, the right side of your brain lights up in a way that just doesn’t happen with “good” words. Regardless of the language, swear words are just different.

Join Columbia University professor John McWhorter for a lively discussion of how to use linguistics to find “structure in what seems like chaos, mess or the trivial.” And why he thinks the nine nasty words featured in his new book are really “nine nasty ways of being human.”

McWhorter’s new book Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter Then Now, and Forever will be available for purchase and signing. Planet Word Members can register for this event for FREE. Please enter the email associated with your membership at checkout.